Better Compaction – Better Silage
Ensuring forage clamps are well compacted is essential to eradicate air pockets, the breeding ground for aerobic bacteria, yeasts and moulds and to create the anaerobic conditions essential for a good fermentation. To do this, many farmers rely on the weight of the buck-raking tractor or loader driven over the clamp as layers are built up for compaction.
Independent trials have shown that the better the compaction the lower the losses due to poor fermentation. A well compacted silage face can be cut out more easily, and is more stable because air cannot penetrate as far into the silage mass.
Achieving even compaction involves a lot of manoeuvring and using the resulting tyre tracks as visual confirmation that every part of the clamp has been compacted. Compaction at the sides of the clamp is often compromised or results in damage to side sheeting and clamp walls.
A SilaPactor speeds up the compaction process almost four-fold, saving both time and fuel. Rolling tight to the sides of the silage clamp is much easier, resulting in improved silage quality in this vulnerable area. SilaPactor has been shown to increase dry matter density by up to 40 per cent when compared to conventional tractor rolling. That’s an impressive 40 per cent more feed that can be stored in the same clamp, helping to save valuable space.
Here in the UK, farmers typically achieve a silage density of 180 – 200kg of dry matter per cubic metre using traditional compaction methods, but in some European countries, where the SilaPactor’s performance has been monitored, densities of up to 320kg of dry matter per cubic metre are commonplace.
Such significant compaction improvements result in higher nutrient retention, better fermentation and utilisation of clamp space and lower fuel consumption, making a considerable saving in overall feed costs.
SilaPactors are available in the following range of sizes:-
2.1 metres wide – 2.5-2.7 tonnes
2.6 metres wide – 3.5-3.8 tonnes
3.0 metres wide – 3.8-4.0 tonnes
4.0 metres wide – 5.8-6.0 tonnes